Monday, December 29, 2008

a few more aprons

I had a few aprons I made that I couldn't post before Christmas. I can share them with you now.

This is one I made for my sister Sheri for Christmas.

This is a braiding apron I made for my other sister, Page. Her birthday is in January so I went ahead and gave it to her. She can use it while braiding and grooming her horse before competition at dressage events. It has 5 pockets and is reversible. I lined it throughout to give it some weight. I was originally going to make it out of canvas but when I saw this fabric, I couldn't resist.

Lucky for me, they both really liked them!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Here is what we do every Christmas Eve:
We attend Christmas Eve service
Then we get hot cocoa from Starbuck's
Then we begin to drive around and look at Christmas decorations
Then Dean will GUN IT and...
One (or both) of the kids will spill their cocoa in Dean's Explorer.
Then Dean will get frustrated and announce that we are NEVER to drink hot cocoa in his car EVER again
Then he pulls over to assess the 'damage'
Then I whip out my handy dandy hot cocoa spill cleaner upper
Then Dean calms down, while trying NOT to laugh
As we resume driving, Dean reminds us that THIS IS THE LAST TIME WE DRINK ANYTHING IN HIS CAR.
Then we all laugh because we know we will get more hot cocoa the next time we go out
We love Dean

So, what are your plans?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Reindeer Food

My kids used to LOVE to make this.
Ripstick boy has outgrown it but Curly Girl is still really into it.

So here are the ingredients to help your own little elf make Reindeer food for Santa's Reindeer:

1 cup oatmeal
1 smallish palmful of glitter...this is what makes them fly
Some red or green sprinkles.

Mix all together and sprinkle it on the lawn. (we used to HAVE to put it in bowls....)
The reindeer get thirsty flying around all night so Curly Girl likes to put out a large bowl of water too.

We put this out right before the kids go to bed, about the same time we put out Santa's cookies and milk.

Curly girl always checks to see how much was eaten and if any water is left.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Paying attention

You know how sometimes you don't think your husband pays attention. And then he does something that makes you go "hmmmmmmmmm."
This was one of those moments.

Here is our angel for our tree. She is 12 years old but aging gracefully.

I collect snowglobes.....look what he wrapped and then couldn't stand it so he unwrapped it and gave it to me already...

the similarities are uncanny....especially considering they were purchased 12 years apart.......

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finding Leo

After the 'collar' incident this Summer, I had Leo chipped. Now that he runs around the house without his little bell on, it is sometimes hard to find him. Leo doesn't talk much and RARELY meows....he is a very quiet kitty. Lucky for us he comes when called.....
hmmmmmmm.....where is he now?

There he is.....fitting VERY snuggly under the kid's little tree upstairs....I don't know how he managed to get under it without knocking it over or breaking the ornaments....but he did.......and look how smug he looks.....quite pleased with himself. He regularly sleeps under the big tree downstairs but this was a surprise...quite a squeeze!

And here he is looking quite pleased with himself. Like Yertle the Turtle....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

tree "ornaments" for our feathered friends........

This is a little holiday treat we do each Winter for the birds. Down in the South, they don't have to worry as much but in Oklahoma, the birds would flock to our home and stick around until these were all empty. You can find all sorts of recipes on the web but here is what we do. We just use what we have on hand to keep it simple.

Mix together the following:
peanut butter
dried fruit and nuts.
This is a great way to use up any leftover cranberries or raisins.
*Mix in enough cornmeal that it all lumps together and stays together pretty well.

Clean out orange halves.

Poke 3 holes equidistant in the orange half..if you use a tapestry needle you can thread your yarn at the same time.

Pull the 3 lengths of yarn up and tie a knot (or leave them untied until you fill the cups)

Mix the birdseed mixture up and form into a large ball and push down inside the orange 'cup.'

Then hang it by the yarn on a tree branch.

Waa-Laa! Happy Birds!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More aprons.......

I made these 2 little aprons for 2 little girls....

This one is for a friend of Curly Girl's for Christmas (shhhhh, she doesn't know about it....)

And this one is Curly Girl's....for her birthday. I think it would make a great grooming apron too.....for those in the horsey set.....

she loved it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slipper swap

I'm in Marcel's slipper swap

My partner lives in Canada and her favorite color is green. She has just started to crochet so instead of sewing her some slippers, I thought it might be nice to send her some crocheted ones. I LOVE these. They are perfect for keeping your tooties warm on those cold floors. I found a pattern online but changed it so the spaces between the stitches were smaller.

I added some hot cocoa and other goodies to round out the package! She emailed me last night and said she loves the slippers...they are like ones her Grandmother used to make her :-)

Here is one of Curly Girl's sippers, but it gives you an idea of how they look on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Curly Girl!

This past weekend Curly Girl had her party to celebrate her 11th birthday. She and her friends had SO MUCH FUN!
But tonight it is just the family and we love her and wish her many many more Happy Birthdays!

We love you!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Super simple neck warmer

Since I have short hair, my neck gets really cold in the winter...even down South.
I LOVE scarves...but I don't like wearing them while walking the dogs because I make long scarves and they get dirty when I bend down to throw the ball for the pooches.

I made this neck warmer to wear for that purpose. I LOVE the way it feels against my skin. In fact, I love it so much, I had to make 2 of as a gift!
I did not write a true pattern for this but if you crochet and need a starting point, here is how I made it:

*my neck is 11 inches around and it took 2 COMPLETE skeins of this yarn. You will need to plan on buying more if you use the same yarn and hook and have a bigger neck.......
K crochet hook
2 skeins of Touch Me sueded yarn
Holding 2 strands of it together, make a chain to fit around your neck.
Basically, chain and try it around your neck. Add about an inch to the length because as you make it wider, it won't stretch as much.
Then work double half crochets back and forth along the length until it is as wide as you like. I wanted mine to be bulky so I made mine pretty wide.
To finish off the edges, work 2 double crochets in each stitch on the short sides, then work a single crochet in each stitch on the top long side. You'll run out of yarn here. The bottom row should be your base chain anyway so it will look fine.
When you finish off leave a long tail, tie a tiny knot (yes, do it, this yarn is UBER soft and without a knot, it will unwork itself)
Work tail into body of neck warmer.

Get 2 buttons that will fit into the spaces made by the double half crochet stitch and sew them about 1 and a half inches from each side. I got 2 gorgeous bone buttons. I used a bit of yarn and a thin tapestry needle to sew mine on. Again, tie a knot. You won't feel it at all and it is important with this yarn.

It took me less than an hour to whip this up.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Slumber Party!

Curly Girl is turning 11 on Tuesday
Curly Girl wanted to celebrate by having a slumber party
Curly Girl had her slumber party last night since Tuesday is a school night
Curly Girl stayed up all night having fun with her friends
They played music and danced and did the congo

They ate stuff like pizza, popcorn, cookies and...a cake from Baskin Robbins...

They decorated door hangers and bookmarks

They wore slipper socks and we drove through the neighborhood singing Christmas Carols and looking at Christmas decorations....then we came back and had hot cocoa.

They played fun games like Sleeping Beauty and Piggly Wiggly

They made ornaments and painted their nails

They made a lot of noise and had a lot of fun
Curly Girl was VERY happy
Curly Girl's FRIENDS were very happy too
The sweetest thing is that at 1 AM, instead of hanging from the chandelier...they were all READING the Christmas books we keep by the Christmas tree this time of year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Day!

It doesn't snow in Southern Louisiana.
Until it did.
I checked the kids out and let them play, I couldn't resist.
(After all, it doesn't snow in Southern Louisiana.)
I shouldn't have even made them GO to school...they were home by 10 AM playing and laughing and having a blast!

On the way home, they dug into fresh warm bread from the bakery and Starbucks signature hot cocoa...the one with caramel and salt.....oh my! what a treat!

look how pretty the entrance to the neighborhood looks in the snow:

here is our little house all covered in snow.......okay, SORT OF covered in snow:

here are the hoodlums...I mean kids...all bundled up in their "color coordinated" ski wear! ha! I especially love Ripstick Boy's LIPS.......the ONLY thing you can see!

here is a snow girl they made together. She started out about 3 feet tall....but by the time I took the photo, she had started shrinking....snow people age quickly.

I wish I could ask for more snow but I can't. The powerlines can't handle it. We had wrecks, power outages, broken tree limbs....the list goes on.
As much as I LOVE SNOW, it poses such a hardship in states not used to nor prepared for it.

But for the day, you couldn't rip the smile off my face.....we truly had a wonderful day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The theme for this month's recipe swap box is Holiday Favorites. Last week, I listed my potato boats but another favorite I make for Thanksgiving and Christmas is Ambrosia.
I say Ambrosia VERY loosely because I don't really make a true Ambrosia. But the kids like the 'fancy name' so it stuck.

Here is how I make it. This will make 8 servings.

1 large can of pineapple chunks with juice
1 large can of mandarin oranges, drained
4 large grapefruit, washed
8-10 oranges, washed

Work OVER your bowl to catch all the juices!
First of all, cut ALL your citrus in half. Then section it. I like to section it this way: run a knife around the OUTER edge between the fruit and the rind.

Then run your knife between the membrane and each segment.

Then gently squeeze so the segments of fruit will pop out. You'll have to help a few but most will fall out on their own. This is the best way to get the fruit AND juice at once, with the least amount of cutting of the rind. ***Plus this way you salvage the rinds to make orange cups for the bird's. (more on that next week.)

Then mix all ingredients together. Sometimes I add just a few marachino cherries and some juice but it makes it VERY sweet so be careful if you try it. Many people add coconut, bananas and nuts to it too but we don't.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Sassy Apron!

I got my last Sassy apron of the year on Friday! It came from SueAnn....she makes the cutest aprons! I totally LOVE this apron! I have a thing for long, thick is so much fun to tie a big fat bow...makes me feel all girly. Plus, I just adore this fabric with the little gingerbread men all over it.

She included a great cookie cutter, wooden spoon and cute cookie cookbook....which I've already noted a few recipes to try. Even if I didn't USE the book, it is so cute, I can leave it out.

Thank you again SueAnn!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Look at these CUTE softies! I was in a swap through swap-bot AGES ago...back before I 'quit' swapping through it. I sent mine off way before deadline. In fact, the swap was so long ago that I'd forgotten all about it. I came home Monday to find these cuties waiting for me. The giant (it really is huge) toadstool is the actual swap item....the sweet tiny pear was lagniappe!

My faith in swap-bot has been restored.......
Thank you Kelly!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Here are a couple aprons I finished up.
Leah was in my Hot Mama Apron Swap. Her partner flaked on her so I made her this apron and sent it to her last week. I love the cinnamon is hard to see in the photo but it picks up the same color in the pocket. I backed it with muslin so it has a nice weight to it.

here is the rest of the stuff I put together for her....some hot cocoa, a tea towel, recipes, a little teensy book and a wooden spoon.

I made this apron to have on hand.......I love the paisley fabric. The white fabric for the pocket has a dotted pattern that looks really cute with the paisley.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

With love from Peppy

My mom always tells me (and others) where we all get our 'gifts' from. Here is my list:

I get my musical abilities from my father
I get my artsy/craftsy side from my grandmother Peppy
I get my nose from a distant relative who had Native American Indian in them
I get my skin and eyes from her and her side of the family (Scottish)
I get my curly hair from my dad and HIS side of the family
I get my thumbs from her (weird, I know)
I get my teeth from braces...wait, I don't think that counts.... get the picture.......I always crack up when she starts in on her is really pretty funny. She has started them up with our kids too....
That being said, there is a LOT of truth to it. I have some sweet things I put out only at Christmas...things Peppy made. I get so emotional. She is no longer with us but each time I put these out, I know she is here. We used to do crafts together so the memories are wonderful.

These are little match boxes she covered. They actually were used FOR the matches...back in the day....

This is a Santa pillow she made so long ago. It is a bit flatter but still in great shape.

These are my most precious ones.......napkin rings! The photos don't do them justice but they are my favorite. I remember as a child BEGGING to set the table so I could place these on the table. My mom gave them to me for Christmas just last year.



Thank you Peppy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Potato Boats!

For the Recipe Box swap this month, the theme is Holiday Favorites. I make these the day before and put them in the freezer. In the morning, I take them out and put them in the refrigerator to thaw out.

These are the BEST and I can never make enough. The kids actually fight over them. (COMPANY fights over them! hahah!)

Here is the recipe, followed by directions and photos

This is for 10 potato boats. (Warning! If you make more, do it in sets unless you have a ginormous mixer!)
Bake 5 BAKING potatoes....choose potatoes that are uniform in shape and large.

Scrub your potatoes, prick with a fork and wrap in foil.  Put in the center of the oven.

Bake at 400 for an hour or until a fork pierces them easily. Careful squeezing them with a potholder, don't crush them.

Try to find potatoes of the same size so they will finish baking at the same time.

Now for the other ingredients:

1 stick softened butter
1 cup half and half (or even milk)
4 oz sour cream (to taste)
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground WHITE pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
blend all together with the potatoes adding half and half to smooth it out. You may not use all of depends on how large your potatoes are.
Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, mix again
Add 10 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon.  If your company won't eat regular bacon,use a high fat turkey bacon.
Mix again on high to beat out the big lumps.

TASTE for seasonings and adjust before putting into boats. If you work while the potatoes are hot, the ingredients incorporate better.  These aren't piped so it doesn't really matter if there are some lumps.

The trick is to work while they are hot so use a towel to protect your hands.   I use a fish boning knife for this part.  Start at one end and go down the middle, 

flip the potato and let it's weight pull the knife through.  That way, the skin won't tear.  You want the skin intact.

 Keep the other potatoes warm with a towel while you work on one potato at a time. I leave mine in the foil until I am ready to cut them.

Cut it in half and scoop out the potato right down to the peel, being careful not to tear the is delicate after baking!
As you scoop, put the scooped out potato in the large bowl on top of the butter to help melt it if you forget to soften it like I always seem to do.

Once you scoop them out they should look like this, don't scoop to much, it will break the boat:

If you DO break the boat, use a little cheese to mend it....the heat will melt it.  Works like a charm.

Beat well with the other ingredients I listed in the recipe. They will be sticky because of the cheese, that is okay. (If you want them to be smoother, you'll need more milk and less cheese.) You can see how thick they are.

The best way to put them back into the 'boat' is to hold your spoon right above the boat. 

When done, you'll have 10 boats. Top them with paprika and shredded cheese or leave some can always top them later.

Most of the potatoes will fit back into the might have a spoonful or two leftover to enjoy. 

At this point, you can put them into the oven to bake...they are already cooked so you are just browning the top. 

These freeze beautifully so I make them at least a week ahead of time.
Freeze them on the tray and then transfer them to freezer baggies. Just remember to thaw them out before cooking.

To heat for serving:
Put them in with the turkey the last 30 or so minutes with foil over them. Then remove the foil to brown while cooking rolls, etc.
Bake at 400 to brown quickly or 350 if cooking with something else.

The best part is where the stuffed part of the potato meets the little bit of baked potato left in the boat...YUM!

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